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Post subject: Prevent getting a chest cold.  PostPosted: Oct 04, 2005 - 05:31 AM



It seems that every time I get a head cold it flows to my chest, causing a bronchitis-type chest cold. I have taken antibiotics but want to know if there is a way to bolster my immunity in the chest area to prevent getting a chest cold.


During this Holiday Week, DrWeil.com is presenting the Editor's Picks of seasonal Questions & Answers from the "Ask Dr. Weil Q&A Library."

Original Post Date: 22 January 1998

Some people are especially susceptible to chest colds, and since you seem to be one of them, you should know about steam inhalation to help prevent secondary infections when you have a cold. It's really quite easy: Bring a pot of water to a boil, take it off the fire, then stand over it and create a tent with a towel over your head and the pot. Purse your lips and breathe steam though your mouth. For best results, before inhaling, steep a small handful of sage and/or eucalyptus leaves or a teaspoon of the essential oils of either or both (available at herb shops) in the steaming water. Not only is this procedure soothing, it's preventive, since the aromatic oils are known to retard bacterial growth.

Another remedy is strong ginger tea, which helps clear up chest congestion. Peel and grate (lengthwise on the large holes of a grater) a chunk of fresh gingerroot. Place 1 to 2 teaspoons of the gingerroot into a mug of just-boiled water. Cover and let it steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain and drink. (If you like, add honey to taste.) Drink a few cups of ginger tea throughout the day.

To help strengthen your respiratory system, practice the simple breathing exercises that are an important part of my "8 Weeks to Optimum Health" program. This is one of them -- an ancient breathing technique that I practice at least twice a day:

Sit with your back straight. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue behind your upper front teeth and keep it there throughout the exercise.
Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a (silent) count of four.
Hold your breath for a count of seven.
Exhale completely through your mouth, again making a whoosh sound, to a count of eight.
This constitutes one breath cycle. Repeat for a total of four cycles, then breathe normally.
Finally, to boost your immune system in general, I recommend garlic and astragalus . Try to eat one clove of raw garlic a day (mashed or chopped fine and mixed with food), and take two capsules of astragalus twice a day for a few months. You can also experiment with other immune-boosting herbs such as maitake or reishi, medicinal mushrooms that are available in a variety of forms at health food stores.

Copyright 2005 Weil Lifestyle, LLC
All material provided on the DrWeil.com Web site is provided for informational or educational purposes only. Consult a physician regarding the applicability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your symptoms or medical condition.

Medical Information
It is not the intention of Raptor-Pack to provide specific medical advice but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health and their diagnosed disorders. Specific medical advice will not be provided, and Raptor-Pack urges you to consult with a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your personal questions and specific medical advice




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